The Christian Science Monitor

What slime molds can teach us about thinking

Visit this online directory of the nearly 200 faculty members at Hampshire College and you’ll find that, listed between a professor of communications and a visiting professor of video and film, is a petri dish of yellow schmutz.

The schmutz is a plasmodial slime mold, Physarum polycephalum, a glob of living cells that exhibits decidedly non-schmutzlike behavior, such as solving mazes and anticipating periodic events – so much so that in 2017 Hampshire, a private liberal arts school in Amherst, Mass., awarded it a position of “visiting non-human scholar.”

The abilities of non-animals to remember events, recognize patterns, and solve problems are prompting scientists and philosophers to rethink what thinking is. In the 20th century, science demolished

E pluribus plasmodiumThinking fast and slowA space oddity?

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